Nintendo registers patents for Tears of the Kingdom including loading screens & physics

Around 31 patents were registered by Nintendo in relation to Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom features and design.

Image via Nintendo

There’s a ton of interesting interactivity going on in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and Nintendo wants to make sure most of it isn’t nabbed for use in other developers’ games. The company was seen to have registered a multitude of patents which cover a variety of features in the game. That includes specialized things like the Fuse and Ultrahand abilities. However, it also features more mundane and general things such as the adaptive loading screen and the physics by which Link moves when standing on objects.

The patents filed by Nintendo were noticed Automaton, but officially registered between the dates of July 10 and August 4, 2023. They include a variety of features in the game, such as Riji’s lightning ability and the various physics and functions of Fuse and Ultrahand. However, as shared by Japanese site naoya2k, one such patent relates to the calculations Tears of the Kingdom does when Link rides on top of objects. It’s a patent regarding the situation where when an object link is standing on is in motion, Link will also move at an appropriate speed without input.

Nintendo vehicle/player locomotion patent diagram
Nintendo's recent Tears of the Kingdom patents include one that focuses entirely on how a player character moves without input when on a moving platform.
Source: naoya2k

Other patents related to Tears of the Kingdom relate to features such as the loading screen. Tears of the Kingdom’s loading screen is adaptive. When fast-traveling shows the map, pinpointing where Link starts from, and then the map view transfers to where Link will teleport. There are other elements that update throughout the game, such as Link’s life hearts, stamina, and the abilities he has gained.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a fascinating amalgam of creativity and interaction (all of which no doubt aided it in selling 18.51 million units), but it seems those elements may very well be confined to Nintendo uses. With these patents in play, the big N seems prepared to take legal action if it feels anyone copies its work a little too closely. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story for further updates.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      August 9, 2023 10:26 AM

      Gross. Software patents are the worst.

      • reply
        August 9, 2023 3:05 PM

        Yeah I agree :( , this is like bottom of the barrel bullshit if you ask me and I hope it fails(not sure if it has gone through yet).

        I know Shack is hard for Nintendo but in my opinion anyone in the industry that does this sort of thing with patents is horrible no matter how you look at it. Can you imagine if every genera was patented and every technology or game play mechanic, where would we be now?

        What a sad day for Nintendo, you are better than this, it almost feels like a out of season April fools joke and I don't believe it.

        Insane and sad.

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